"Did you see what's happened at the garrison? The City Guard left it last night. A company of Justiciars moved in. Wonder which part of the slums will burn tonight. Those poor bastards. Justice is coming for them and it doesn't care for right or wrong!" - a concerned citizen, 7422 AC
The Knights of Justice and Order were first assembled by the Aeternum
as a dignified police force. Early on they were stationed soley at the Capital City
, where they functioned both as his personal bodyguard and the implicitly obedient thugs he could send to do the dirty work in the city. By day they wore scarlet cloaks and shining armor. By night they torched the slums, enforced taxation, and terrified dissidents.
They were so effective that the Aeternum doubled enlistment and companies were soon sent to every major city. To insult a Justiciar was punishable by imprisonment or death, as it was considered an insult to the Aeternum himself. Each company is led by a single knight of high esteem and rank called the Chief Justiciar
. They do not answer to the Barons
of the kingdoms they are stationed in, although working relationships will vary depending on the chemistry and reason of the two of them.
Rather than building their own billets, they are accustomed to evicting the local law enforcement from the garrison and then occupying it themselves.
Their professed purpose is to keep the peace, maintain order, and dispense justice. In reality when under the command of a villainous Chief or the Aeternum's directives they are no better than ruffians. If there are no instructions hanging over their heads and their leader is a fairer-minded fellow, they often fulfill their duty admirably.
The only reason the Justiciars are more trouble than the City Guards is because their training is elite, they come from noble families, and they answer directly to the Aeternum. Although the Archivists and Alchemists supposedly have authority over them, they frequently clash due to the pride and willful lifestyle of the Justiciars.
While they do indeed enforce order, they do not truly uphold peace or justice. In the hands of a good king the law is safety. In the hands of an evil emperor the law is a whip on the backs of the people, and the Justiciars are the tools that hold the whip.